For some context to my post, I’ve learned the following:
MSFS uses NavBlue nav data, and provides an API for 3rd party content makers (ie, planes) to access - and encourages them to do so. There are regular AIRAC data updates applied automatically in MSFS (13 per year?).
PMDG claims the NavBlue data is not “what they need for simulation”, and so they embed a Navigraph snapshot from v2204, which has no path for being updated on Xbox.
“The MSFS navigation data simply does not have all the information we need for our simulation. You will find exactly the same with all more advanced simulated airliners.” - email from PMDG
Their argument makes no sense. How a plane works has nothing to do with what waypoints the pilot wants to use in a flight plan. Also, I use Navigraph on an iPad, and import Simbrief plans in to the default 787, with (almost) no problems of missing or mismatch data when both are using the same AIRAC version. Maybe 1 here and there, easy to fix.
PMDG claims the update process is in Microsoft’s hands:
“We use the standard Navigraph database. As soon as that is available on Xbox, you can get a new navdatabase 13 times a year. That is just not in our hands. As soon as the simulator contains a navdatabase that contains all the data that we need, we will for sure support that as well. It’s all in Microsoft’s hands.” - email from PMDG
But that’s not true either - the nav data is just a file, they can submit regular updates via the marketplace, but I believe are chosing not to.
I am coming to the conclusion that PMDG must have some exclusivity deal with Navigraph, or have some unstated reason to not allow NavBlue data to be used in their planes. Or, maybe they just didn’t want to edit their code (written for FS and P3D) to use the MSFS API. I thought that was why it cost so much - to make sure it worked with MSFS.
Regardless, I actually think that Microsoft should have imposed SOME kind of quality assurance for paying customers, that required PMDG to provide a CHOICE in the plane to use the embeded but out of date Navigraph nav data, or switch to the sim’s native NavBlue nav data. And, further, the Marketplace should have explicitly warned of the inability to update nav data, and lack of choice.
I really like the plane, but I’m requesting a refund of my first and only purchase. I doubt anyone at MS or Xbox is listening, but you are losing easy revenue to this kind of thing that completely undermines confidence.